The Green Party has today welcomed the New Zealand Superannuation Fund's decision to divest from four Israeli companies involved in the illegal construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The three companies are Africa Israel Investments and subsidiary Danya Cebus, Elbit Systems Limited, and Shikun & Binui. The value of the divestment is small, totalling about $30,000 of the $20 billion fund.
"We welcome the ethical lead the New Zealand Superannuation Fund has shown by divesting from companies involved in the building of new Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories," said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.
"Continuing to profit from the companies illegal activities would have put the Superannuation Fund's reputation at considerable risk; the companies are likely in breach of the Geneva Convention which has been designed to protect civilians in time of war."
The International Court of Justice in The Hague, the UN Security Council, and the International Committee of the Red Cross have all stated that the building of Israeli settlements on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem is contrary to the Fourth Geneva Convention.
In its World Report 2012, Human Rights Watch reported that 'In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Israel demolished hundreds of Palestinian homes in the West Bank displacing more West Bank Palestinians last year than during any year since the UN started collecting cumulative figures in 2006'.
"The divestment decision will send a clear message to Israel that New Zealand will not sanction the human rights abuses they're committing in Palestine," Dr Norman said.
Human Rights Watch Israel Report 2012: